DRCNet Response to the
Drug Enforcement Administration
DRCNet Response: The original purpose of the DEA was to create a private police force which Richard Nixon could use to gather intelligence and take actions against people outside the normal legal process. See Agency of Fear - the story of the origins of the DEA.
The DEA and its predecessors have historically been tremendously abusive of the legal process, with no respect for the rights of American citizens (see Historical References, FAMM, FEAR, and The American Society for Action on Pain, to name a few). They continue to campaign for more legal power to intrude in the lives of American citizens in every way. We do not feel that it is in the best interests of the American public to allow such an agency, with these kinds of powers, and a long track record of abuses, to collect information on American citizens without oversight, regulation, or control. The DEA is the last Federal agency which should have such powers.
Since its establishment in 1973, DEA, in coordination with other federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement organizations, has been responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of drug-related intelligence. The role of intelligence in drug law enforcement programs, operations, investigations, prosecutions, and strategic planning is critical. The DEA intelligence program causes seizures and arrests, strengthens investigations and prosecutions of major drug organizations, and provides to the policy maker drug trend information upon which programmatic decisions can be based. Intelligence Units are located in all domestic field divisions and in the major drug cultivation, production, and transit countries around the world. In 1992, DEA elevated the intelligence function to divisional level in its Headquarters to emphasize the importance of intelligence in the anti-drug effort and to strengthen DEA's ability to coordinate drug intelligence worldwide. The Division ensures more active DEA leadership in interagency drug intelligence programs, facilitates intelligence sharing, and provides direction to DEA's worldwide intelligence efforts. It is directly responsible for the formulation and management of DEA's worldwide intelligence programs.
The DEA intelligence program is supported by several organizational elements:
Within the Intelligence Division in DEA Headquarters, the Office of Major Investigative Intelligence Support provides intelligence analytical support to major DEA investigations that are focused on the most significant drug organizations operating domestically and around the world.
The Office of Intelligence Policy and Liaison is responsible for providing strategic intelligence on drug cultivation, production, emerging trends, and price/purity; managing DEA's statistical program; and coordinating and addressing interagency drug intelligence issues, as well as enhancing intelligence management, policy, and liaison functions.
The Office of Intelligence Research provides support to both headquarters and field priority enforcement efforts by managing and analyzing data to assist in identifying the infrastructure and operations of drug trafficking organizations.
The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), El Paso, Texas, is a clearinghouse for tactical intelligence and the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information related to worldwide drug movement and alien smuggling. Eleven Federal agencies participate at EPIC in the coordination of intelligence programs related to interdiction efforts.
The Intelligence Groups in 29 domestic offices and 22 foreign offices provide direct analytical support to drug investigations, as well as produce strategic analyses of current drug situations in specific geographic areas of responsibility.
National Drug Pointer Index
DEA is currently working with representatives from 24 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and organizations representing 19 states to develop and implement a National Drug Pointer Index (NDPIX) that will greatly enhance coordination among drug law enforcement entities. By accessing the system's database, participating law enforcement agencies will be able to determine quickly whether a current drug suspect is under active investigation by another participating agency. NDPIX will provide point of contact information only.
NDPIX's 24-hour, seven days per week automated system will:
NDPIX is expected to be operational by October 1997.
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